“Game of Thrones”
E.R. Pulgar, Highlighter Editor
Perhaps YouTube comedy series “Honest Trailers” put it best when they described “Game of Thrones” as a “medieval encyclopedia/ Dungeon Masters Guide / porno,” but the show is so much more than blood, sex and dragon eggs. With a rich and sometimes indiscernible plotline, the intrigue goes from the royal court at King’s Landing to the continent of Essos, where Daenerys Targaryen has been building an army and a name for herself. It’s hard not to give this show an Emmy or 12, with its constant boundary pushing. Tantalizing story and scintillatingly interesting characters aside, the show boasts a kind of progressive representation. Actors range from all across the racial spectrum, and the show boldly represents LGBTQ+ individuals. It’s hard not to fall in love with this show and its lush cast of characters, which makes their untimely and frequently violent deaths that much more jarring. Winter might not be here yet, but lock yourself in your room and binge watch this show before the next season returns in spring 2016.
Audrey Deng, Arts Editor
HBO’s political comedy “Veep” has no qualms against flaunting the pathetic. Starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Selina Meyer, President of the United States, “Veep” comically depicts the food chain of the political system by showing how powerless everyone actually is. Despite her arrogance and her devoted entourage, Meyer is one of the weakest political decision-makers in D.C., powerful only by title. By making the president’s bag man Gary Walsh (Tony Hale) one of the show’s most prominent characters, the comedy succeeds in redefining presidency not as motions and bills, but as trivialities and small talk. Working in the Oval Office translates to frantic searches for lipstick and debates over which flavors of frozen yogurt are presidential. “Veep” won Emmys for Best Comedy, Best Comedy Writing, Best Lead Actress and Best Supporting Actor for Hale.
Bailey Evans, Digital Director
“Transparent” is perhaps the best show out there that is distributed by a streaming service—it even beats out “House of Cards” in my book. The shows’s touching, funny and unflinching portrayal of a family’s reaction to its patriarch announcing he is transitioning into a woman is one of the most engaging TV storylines around. Emmy-winner Jeffrey Tambor portrays a transgender woman with honesty and poise. His performance stands out for its nuance, reflecting the complex emotions of transition combined with familial love and obligation. This alone makes the show worth watching—the supporting cast including Jay Duplass and Gaby Hoffman render it watch-the-whole-first-season-in-a-day worthy.
Audrey Deng, Arts Editor
The cinematography in “Olive Kitteridge” is enough reason to watch this winner of the Limited Series Emmy. Filmed in Maine, the HBO show follows Olive Kitteridge (Frances McDormand) from middle to old age, a timeline which defies the typical young to old narrative and concentrates not on just growing old, but growing older: greying hair, mottling skin — we see it all. The show is simultaneously an intimate portrait of a marriage without intimacy and an apathetic depiction of a coastal city’s community. The beauty of Maine is almost facetious when paired with the quotidian of Olive’s life and we see the gorgeous state from her critical eyes as she progresses through, not with, the lives of her son and husband.
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